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Aerpio Hosting Key Opinion Leader Call on a Novel Mechanism for the Treatment of Glaucoma

CINCINNATI, June 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerpio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Aerpio”) (Nasdaq: ARPO), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing compounds that activate Tie2 to treat ocular diseases and diabetic complications, today announced that it is hosting a key opinion leader (KOL) call on a novel mechanism for the treatment of glaucoma on Friday, June 12, 2020 at 11:30am Eastern Time.

The call will feature presentations by Dr. Paul Kaufman M.D. (University of Wisconsin) and Dr. Janey Wiggs, M.D., Ph.D. (Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School), who will discuss the current glaucoma treatment landscape and unmet medical needs, as well as the role of the Tie2 receptor in maintaining intraocular pressure. Drs. Kaufman and Wiggs will be available to answer questions at the conclusion of the event.

Aerpio's management team will also discuss its pipeline candidate, razuprotafib (formerly AKB-9778), for treating patients with glaucoma. Razuprotafib is a small molecule inhibitor that restores Tie2 activation in Schlemm’s canal and lowers intraocular eye pressure (IOP) via decreasing resistance to outflow from the eye. Razuprotafib has been formulated as a once or twice-daily topical eye drop and is entering a Phase 2 clinical trial in Q3:20, with top line data expected in Q1:21.

Aerpio recently announced positive and statistically significant intraocular eye pressure (IOP) reduction in a Phase 1b trial of 43 glaucoma patients, when razuprotafib was added to prostaglandin treatment. This data set is summarized here.

Friday, June 12th @ 11:30am Eastern Time
Domestic:   1-877-407-9716
International:   1-201-493-6779
Conference ID:    13704356
Webcast:   Click Here for Webcast

Paul Kaufman, M.D. is the Ernst H. Bárány Emeritus Professor of Ocular Pharmacology and past Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, in Madison, Wisconsin. He is a physician-scientist, specializing in glaucoma and studying the mechanisms of aqueous humor formation and drainage, and the age-related loss of near vision. Dr Kaufman is a past President and past Executive Vice President of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), past President of the International Society for Eye Research (ISER), and has served on the US National Advisory Eye Council and numerous foundation and corporate scientific advisory boards. He has had continuous research funding from the US National Eye Institute for 40 years and from numerous private foundations, has authored over 375 original scientific articles and 75 book chapters, co-edited several textbooks including the most recent editions of Adler’s Physiology of the Eye, and received numerous honors and awards including the Friedenwald Award from ARVO and the Balazs Prize from ISER. He was Editor-in-Chief of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science from 2008 through 2012. Dr. Kaufman also holds an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree from Uppsala University in Sweden, where he was a post-doctoral research fellow.

Janey L. Wiggs, M.D., Ph.D. is a physician-scientist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School. She is currently the Paul Austin Chandler Professor of Ophthalmology and is the Vice Chair for Clinical Research in Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. She also directs the CLIA-certified genetic testing laboratory at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and is a co-director of the Ocular Genomics Institute and co-director of the Glaucoma Center of ExcellenceDr. Wiggs received her B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and her M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School. She did post-doctoral training in molecular genetics under the direction of Dr. Ted Dryja. Dr. Wiggs completed the ophthalmology residency at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and received fellowship training in glaucoma and also in medical genetics and is certified by the both the American Board of Ophthalmology and the American Board of Medical Genetics. Dr. Wiggs’ research program is focused on the discovery and characterization of genetic factors that contribute to the blinding eye disease glaucoma and is funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) as well as other nonprofit foundations. She is investigating the genetic etiologies of both early-onset and adult forms of glaucoma and is the PI of the NEIGHBORHOOD consortium for gene discovery in primary open angle glaucoma and is a founding member of the International Glaucoma Genetics Consortium (IGGC). She has also participated in research programs funded by the US-INDO joint working group (NEI) and the NEI eyeGENE consortium.  Dr. Wiggs was the inaugural chair of the Genetics Group for ARVO and is an ARVO gold fellow. She currently serves on the editorial boards of IOVS, JAMA Ophthalmology, Molecular Vision, Journal of Glaucoma, and Annual Reviews in Vision Science. She is a member of the scientific advisory boards for the Glaucoma Research Foundation, Research to Prevent Blindness and the Glaucoma Foundation, and is a past member of the Advisory Council of the National Eye Institute. She has received the Heed Award, the Heed/Knapp Award, the Research to Prevent Blindness Scholar Award, the AAO Honor Award, the Lew Wasserman Merit Award, the Alcon Research Award, the David L. Epstein award from the ARVO Foundation and was a winner of the NEI Audacious Goal competition. She is an elected member of the Glaucoma Research Society, the American Ophthalmological Society, the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis and the National Academy of Medicine.

About Razuprotafib
Razuprotafib binds to and inhibits vascular endothelial protein tyrosine phosphatase (VE-PTP), an important negative regulator of Tie2. Decreased Tie2 activity contributes to vascular instability in many diseases including diabetes and more recently has been shown to contribute to the development of increased IOP and glaucoma. Razuprotafib activates the Tie2 receptor irrespective of extracellular levels of its binding ligands, angiopoietin-1 (agonist) or angiopoietin-2 (antagonist) and may be the most efficient pharmacologic approach to maintain normal Tie2 activation. Aerpio is studying a topical ocular formulation of razuprotafib in open angle glaucoma and exploring the utility of subcutaneous razuprotafib for diabetic complications, including diabetic nephropathy.

About Aerpio Pharmaceuticals
Aerpio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing compounds that activate Tie2 to treat ocular diseases and diabetic complications. Recently published mouse and human genetic data implicate the Angpt/Tie2 pathway in maintenance of Schlemm’s canal, a critical component of the conventional outflow tract. The Company’s lead compound, razuprotafib (formerly AKB-9778), a first-in-class small molecule inhibitor of vascular endothelial protein tyrosine phosphatase (“VE-PTP”), is being developed as a potential treatment for open angle glaucoma, and the Company intends to investigate the therapeutic potential of razuprotafib in other indications. The Company is also evaluating development options for ARP-1536, a humanized monoclonal antibody, for its therapeutic potential in the treatment of diabetic vascular complications including nephropathy and diabetic macular edema (“DME”). The Company’s third asset is a bispecific antibody that binds both VEGF and VE-PTP which is designed to inhibit VEGF activation and activate Tie2. This bispecific antibody has the potential to be an improved treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration and DME via intravitreal injection. Finally, the Company has exclusively out-licensed AKB-4924 (now called GB004), a first-in-class small molecule inhibitor of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF). GB004 is being developed by AKB-4924’s exclusive licensor, Gossamer Bio, Inc. (Nasdaq: GOSS). For more information, please visit

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Statements in this press release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include, among other things, the Company’s product candidates, including razuprotafib, ARP-1536 and the bispecific antibody asset, the clinical development plan therefor and the therapeutic potential thereof, the Company’s plans and expectations with respect to razuprotafib and the development therefor and therapeutic potential thereof in addressing COVID-19 and the intended benefits from the Company’s collaboration with Gossamer Bio for GB004, including the continued development of GB004 and the milestone and royalty payments related to the collaboration. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to several risk factors. Such factors include, among others, the continued development of GB004 and maintaining and deriving the intended benefits of the Company’s collaboration with Gossamer Bio; ability to continue to develop razuprotafib or other product candidates, including in indications related to COVID-19; the inherent uncertainties associated with the drug development process, including uncertainties in regulatory interactions, the design of planned or future clinical trials, commencing clinical trials and enrollment of patients in clinical trials; obtaining any necessary regulatory clearances in order to commence and conduct planned or future clinical trials; the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s business operations, including research and development efforts and the ability of the Company to commence, conduct and complete its planned clinical activities; and competition in the industry in which the Company operates and overall market conditions; and the additional factors set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, as updated by our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our other subsequent filings with the SEC.

These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and the Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements, except as required by law. Investors should consult all the information set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factor disclosure set forth in the reports and other documents the Company files with the SEC available at

Investors & Media:
Gina Marek
VP Finance
Irina Koffler
LifeSci Advisors


Source: Aerpio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.